In 2020/2021, Utrecht University will offer a new Master's programme on Law and Technology in Europe. In this programme that cuts through all fields of law, professor's like Anna Gerbrandy, Janneke Gerards, Madeleine de Cock Buning, Peter Blok and Sybe de Vries will teach students why and how new digital technologies are regulated. I will act as coordinator of the programme and will be teaching a course as well.
Digital technologies make our lives easier in countless ways. In the digital economy, a new pair of shoes is just a tap of a finger away. You can organise a car or train journey by asking Alexa or Siri, and take your favourite music or TV series along for the ride. Meanwhile, governments around the world are making use of the sensors, actuators and other opportunities offered by smart technologies to streamline city life and respond swiftly and effectively to societal challenges.
But what if the algorithms supporting today’s digital platforms and the government discriminate against certain individuals? What are the risks of using digital technologies for the rule of law and values such as accountability, transparency, checks and balances, access to justice, procedural fairness and fundamental rights? And, as companies and governments harvest more and more of our personal data, how can we trust that our privacy is fully protected? Are our laws up to date, or do we need new ones?
In this thought-provoking Master’s we take a deep dive into the fascinating digital and societal developments that are raising new questions at the intersection of law, regulation and technology. Students on the programme will examine the role played by the EU as it looks to regulate and police these technologies, and whether Europe’s laws are ‘future-proof’ enough to withstand continuing technological innovation and change.